August 4, 2007

London Triathlon

Yesterday Stephen and I checked out the London Triathlon sponsored by Michelob (yes, the beer). It was a bittersweet day for Stephen as he was training to participate but injured his back about six weeks ago.

What a perfect day for the event. The sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky and it was in the 80s (or something 20s if you can figure out Celsius) with tropical breezes. The setting was interesting, the ExCeL centre in the Docklands. This is a multi-purpose venue that can host trade shows, concerts and participatory sporting events. Pretty much a giant warehouse.
Thousands of athletes of all shapes, sizes and ages participated in groups of 300, launching into the water at 30 minute intervals. You could feel the tension. We were able to get up close to all the action and our first visit was the transition point for participants to get out of their wetsuits and start running to their bikes. This requires quite a bit of coordination and I found myself wanting to reach my hand over the barricade and give some of the athletes a hand. Those suits do not come off easily.

The above photo is from a suspension bridge that provided excellent viewing of the swimmers. We were surprised by how many folks were doing breast stroke. Some were speedy and others were setting their own pace but it didn't matter as long as you did your best. Here's a shot of the safety team's kayaks.

It was a fantastic event, superbly coordinated and endlessly exciting. Plus, there were tons of vendors selling all kinds of sporting goods at hugely discounted prices. We like that.

Stephen took some excellent shots which I hope he'll post on his blog watchstevego.